// toronto sushi review

Queen & University

Ematei

(2 reviews)

Ematei, according to their signage, is “authentic Japanese food”. This downtown Toronto sushi restaurant is somewhat hidden from the Queen West strip, despite being a very short walk from Queen and University. Please read our conversational review, below.

brandon
Comment Arrow

5.0  /  10With expectations of authentic Japanese sushi, I only have one word to describe Ematei: Overrated.
fred
Comment Arrow

5.0  /  10It may be authentic but if you are going for just sushi, stay away. Disappointing.


30 St. Patrick Street
416.340.0472
Review Date: Nov. 10, 2010




fred
Comment ArrowEmatei

We met at 5:30 on a Tuesday evening and Ematei was fairly empty – but business picked up as the night progressed. I was greeted warmly by the sushi chefs upon entering.


brandon
Comment ArrowBased on some reviews I’ve seen on the web, Ematei is supposed to be more of a traditional style Japanese restaurant. That’s a bit of a rarity among all the Sushi places here in TO. The place is kind of tucked in on a side street so it would not be a place where you’d normally walk by to try out.


fred
Comment ArrowYes, you pretty much have to be looking for it — or you may never know it’s there. Despite the many Japanese dishes on the menu, we decided to stick to sushi. Sushi Toronto is all about sushi, after all!


brandon
Comment ArrowOne thing that I hate about the menu – has dirty paper pages! Never understood why restaurants would use paper based menus because they always end up getting soiled by tea/drinks, etc. Laminate or something. I know this for a fact because I even dropped some of the free seaweed appetizer on it to add yet another stain. Regardless, the menu does maintain a traditional listing of sushi and sashimi. No sushi pizza or Queen street rolls will be found here.

seaweed appetizer


fred
Comment ArrowMaybe the Sushi Toronto team should start doing consulting for sushi establishments. That’s right, contact us to have us help you out! My fellow reviewer just gave you a (free!) tip: Class up the menus! Save the paper menus for the student pubs. Ok, back to the review. Oh, you mentioned the seaweed appetizer — Not a fan! I didn’t even finish mine. As for the meal, we ordered up two rolls and a sushi plate. We went with the standard Spicy Tuna roll and then another roll that is definitely an Ema-only roll. It was comprised of (yeah, we don’t remember – but it was different than the norm). The sushi plate was a full assortment of nagiri, with a couple rolls added in.


brandon
Comment ArrowThere was a disclaimer in the menu that their sushi is always prepared with wasabi. Another “authentic” element to this place. The spicy tuna rolls comes out first looking kind of plain. They tasted okay but they were just way too spicy for me. It takes away from the flavour, in my opinion, where all you get is a burning mouth.

Spicy Tuna Rolls - Ematei


fred
Comment ArrowAgreed. The spicy tuna rolls were pretty boring and spicy to the point where they didn’t taste like anything — only an overload of spice. I love spicy but they weren’t tasty at all. The specialty roll was decent but a total mess to eat. So, as long as you’re Ok with eating it in pieces then it’s worth a try. The sushi plate wasn’t anything great at all… Not horrible – but not great either.

Ematei special roll


brandon
Comment ArrowNigiri plate at Ematei

Yeah the Sushi plate was okay but nothing special. I thought the specialty roll tasted pretty good. It was the best out of the three but that’s not really saying too much. I was pretty disappointed with all the dishes as my expectations were a bit higher for “authentic sushi”.


fred
Comment ArrowYeah, this place was a bust, unfortunately. The decor of the restaurant wasn’t much to write home (errr, blog) about either. Not awful, but nothing special. The appetizer salad was quite good — care to comment on the soup? Service was friendly and quick — I can’t complain there at all.

Soup and salad


brandon
Comment ArrowAh yes the miso soup. It was actually pretty good. One of the better ones around town. Overall a disappointment. Maybe it would have been better to order the Japanese non sushi dishes as I noticed a lot of other customers ordering the hot and cooked food….but that’s not what we are there for. In the end it was a forgettable experience with average at best sushi. 5/10


fred
Comment ArrowAgreed… I’ll join you with a 5/10.


Please comment on your experiences at Ematei, below

Discussion

One comment for “Ematei”

  1. This place is horrible for sushi & sashimi, however their hot food is decent. Order anything from the kitchen it’s pretty good, anything from the sushi bar, very extremely disappointing for the price.

    Posted by KP | December 21, 2010, 1:26 pm

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